NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The blurring of the line between what you watch on TV and what you stream over the Internet continues to get hazier. This morning, more proof that the watching of television is quickly changing.
Amazon (AMZN) wants to be your primary entertainment provider and toward that end, signed an exclusive deal with Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC/Universal to stream its shows on the Seattle-based online retailer's Amazon Prime Instant Video service.
Amazon will be the only service able to stream five Universal programs from previous seasons -- "Suits", "Grimm", "Covert Affairs", "Smash", "Alphas," and later this year, the popular series "Hannibal."
Amazon gained 2.2% to close at $269.90 while Comcast slipped 0.5% to $42.64.What makes this even more interesting is that NBC/Universal is owned by Comcast -- the giant cable-television provider. The deal shows that content providers are looking for new ways to distribute their content, further blurring the lines between broadcast television, pay-TV and the Internet. Amazon is charging $79.95 a year for its Amazon Prime service. And then there's the CW Network, which is jointly owned by CBS (CBS) and Time Warner (TWX). According to published reports CW is creating an app especially for Apple TV streaming devices. CW is already streaming programs on Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows and Xbox platforms but this will mark the first network to take advantage of the Apple TV-installed user base. As you might expect, Apple is hoping CW is the first of many. CW estimates that 20% of its total viewing audience now comes from digital sources. And, CW says they plan to make it easy for advertisers to reach that ever-increase group of customers. All of this will ultimately mean that fewer people will be watching what historically been known as "TV". And that could mean more competition for Hulu (a joint venture between NBC/Universal, News Corp's (NWS) Fox and Disney's (DIS)) ABC, Netflix (NFLX) and the other "established" streaming services. --Written by Gary Krakow in New York. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.
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